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Sausage Ball Firmness

Situation

Sausage ball samples for firmness testingA processor of meat products was looking for a way to better control its outgoing product. Current methods involve simple visual inspections and are very subjective.

As with most processed food products, the incoming raw ingredients are constantly changing. Meat products are especially troublesome as the texture varies in individual animals. Because of this, the process is under constant manipulation in order to produce a consistent product.

Also, the inherent variation in the product requires a method that is going to give a good representation of the whole product, not just a few points. Products such as sausage balls have an additional challenge because of their inconsistent size and shape.

 

Method

Sausage balls firmness results graphBefore testing, samples were allowed to equilibrate to room temperature (about 72 F°).Three samples were then placed in a standard shear cell for testing, roughly 55 grams. Some products were heated to show the difference in texture after cooking.

The shear cell consists of 10 blades that first compress and then shear through the product. This design allowed for testing multiple samples at once, giving a more complete picture of the product. All testing was done using a TMS-Pro at a speed of 250 mm/min to a distance that allowed the blades to shear completely through the product.

 

 

 

Significance

Sausage balls firmness results table - comparing heated and room temperature

  • Quick and easy test that gives repeatable, objective results that are nearly real time with the processing
  • Allows for more concise control of textural attributes of the product
  • Reduces the possibility of downtime due to a product that does not meet quality standards

Trusted by customers across the world

The University of Arizona’s Nutritional Sciences Food Lab acquired a Texture Analyzer from Food Technologies about 5 years ago. The company has a great product, which is tailored to food needs. 

We have used the Texture Analyzer for both research projects and as a tool to demonstrate to students how food manufacturers can employ objective testing in product evaluation to show how differing ingredients in the same product can affect quality attributes. Its use adds another dimension to the foods labs.

Drew Lambert has been instrumental in helping with set up for testing and providing support whenever there’s a question. He has been a pleasure to work with and is always accommodating with our needs and schedules.  He has even sent us special attachments for special projects.  We couldn’t ask for a better technical support.  Thanks for a great product and great service.

Patricia Sparks, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Practice
https://www.arizona.edu

I am impressed by the great attitude you have toward your customers.

With all the responsibilities you have, but in less than an hour you reply to our one year’s worth of questions, as if you are dedicated to provide support to our company only.

 

 

Ahmed N. Alajaji, Aljazirah Dates and Food, Saudi Arabia
http://www.aljazirahdates.com.sa

I have found FTC to be an excellent partner for our company. In particular, it has been especially gratifying to work with Shirl Lakeway. Both creative and accommodating, he worked very hard with us to develop our projects.

I appreciate his commitment to our joint efforts and his open-minded approach. He and FTC have been exceptionally helpful.

Steve Antonius, Del Monte Foods
http://www.delmonte.com/